Image: Saturn's rings and hexagonal polar storm

February 4th, 2014 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute


Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Just as Saturn's famous hexagonal shaped jet stream encircles the planet's north pole, the rings encircle the planet, as seen from Cassini's position high above. Around and around everything goes!

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 43 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 23, 2013 using a spectral filter that preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 97 degrees. Image scale is 93 miles (150 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

Provided by NASA

"Image: Saturn's rings and hexagonal polar storm." February 4th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-02-image-saturn-hexagonal-polar-storm.html